Relocating to a new city or country means leaving friends and much of the family behind. This alone is reason enough to make this change difficult. And there is also the challenge of getting used to the new environment, the culture shock, and the lengthy process of becoming an accepted member of the new community. So, if there is one good thing that different social media have brought to this world, it is the ability to stay connected with people who matter. And since maintaining long-term friendships after a move is important, we can thank the engineers behind these helpful technological advances.
However, there is the other side of the coin. Social media platforms should be a tool that facilitates human connection and interaction. So far, they have done little in this respect and have instead replaced this vital aspect of life. The benefits that social media have brought in many spheres are undeniable. Still, they have failed us where they matter the most, giving us the illusion that we maintain relationships with people by looking at what they are doing.
Nevertheless, social media platforms are an ally in maintaining long-term friendships after a move. Provided one knows how to use them in a beneficial manner, they can stay connected with their friends and family and continue to nurture a strong relationship with them. At the same time, social media can help find people in the new environment and connect with them on a human level, building more meaningful and profound relationships. But, to achieve that, this world needs a social media platform that has gone through a makeover.
The importance of maintaining long-term friendships
Say, for instance, you have moved to another city, state, or country to go to college. There are many challenges of this relocation, and the age you are in does not help. It is essential to be practical in this situation to mitigate the relocation difficulties. However, it is even more critical to keep your long-term friends. Relocations are emotionally draining, especially at a young age. Although moving to college is exciting, don’t underestimate the impact it can have psychologically.
Friendships give you a sense of belonging and enrich your life. In a new environment, where you still have no connections, staying close to your old friends, even long-distance, will make you feel better. In addition, friends give you emotional support, which is a crucial element of all good relationships. Even if you are not physically together, keeping in touch can reduce the feeling of loneliness and social isolation during the adjustment period. Finally, friendships reduce stress and, therefore, improve your overall health.
The Role of Social Media in Maintaining Long-Term Friendships After a Move
A whole generation has grown up alongside social media channels. It has gotten to a point where we cannot distinguish between our lives in real life and what we see on the tiny screens of our phones. We cannot separate these two. It is a form of addiction that, like all other addictions, leads to loneliness and decreased quality of life. The reason is that social media accommodate the needs of advertisers, who exploit the addictiveness of these channels to maximize their profits.
However, somewhere within that intricate web of allure and imposed wishes, unattainable lifestyles, and fake connections, there is an opportunity to stay connected to your friends even when you are miles apart. But it is easy to say “use Skype,” “you can video chat,” or “send texts.” There is a lot more to it. It is critical to use this helpful technology wisely.
One way to do it is to schedule these dates and do so regularly. This will demonstrate intention from all parts to stay connected and make time for your friendship. Weekly or monthly chats with your long-term friends will make all the difference in maintaining and growing your long-distance relationship. Moreover, you will have something to look forward to in an environment where you may not feel at home yet. Also, it is natural that as time goes by, you become distant. Keeping in touch will prevent it.
Ways to Maintain Long-Term Relationships After a Move
Besides social media, there are other ways to stay connected with your long-term friends.
Prioritize Special Occasions
Sending a card or a small package on holidays, birthdays, and other special events will help you feel connected to your friends. And since you are not physically close, this physical, tangible item, no matter how small, will be something to hold onto. Additionally, receiving a gift or a card in the mail will put a smile on your friends’ faces. Imagine how you would feel if someone surprised you like that.
Also, special occasions are another opportunity to schedule a video chat. You can even agree to open the package while on call. It may seem insignificant, but these small things make relationships stronger and long-lasting.
Try to Meet in Person at Least Once a Year
Perhaps this won’t always be possible. Still, whenever you are in town, prioritize seeing your friends at least for a cup of coffee and a chat. Also, invite them to come and visit you in your new home. It would be an excellent holiday plan for them.
Don’t Be Offended if You Don’t Talk for Some Time
This is an important point to cover. Sometimes, you will not talk to your friends for a while. Sometimes, life gets in the way of your plans. And that is perfectly fine. If you haven’t managed to arrange a chat, try not to take it personally. Don’t automatically assume your friends no longer care about you. Although you should prioritize at least five-minute talks, sometimes it isn’t easy to keep those promises. We live in a fast-paced world; we constantly rush somewhere, and we try to fit in a million things in a finite number of hours we have in one day. As long as there is an intention to stay connected, things are all good.
Final Thoughts Maintaining long-term friendships after a move should be one of your priorities. Of course, you will meet new people and start building relationships with them. However, there is a closeness between old friends that you cannot replicate. As we grow, our relationships also develop and change. If they have managed to stand the test of time, they are worth preserving.